Category Archives: Author Interviews

Author Interview – Barbara Barrett


I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to my friend Barbara. We both belonged to the same local RWA chapter several years ago. She now lives in Florida but happened to come back to Iowa to spend her summer. We had lunch and a chance to catch up and she told me about her first sale. I truly find the writing process interesting. I hope you enjoy this interview and maybe pick up something that will help with your writing process.

VirginiaWhere are you from?

Barbara – I was born in Burlington, Iowa, which just happens to be the setting of my debut novel, ‘The Sleepover Clause.’ After graduating from the University of Iowa, I moved to the Des Moines, Iowa area, where I’ve lived ever since. Three and a half years ago, I became a resident of Florida and now live there half the year (guess which half) just outside the Disney Parks in the shadow of the Mouse.

VirginiaHow long have you been writing?

Barbara – Much too long to admit, considering this is my debut novel. I guess I’m the new poster girl for “persistence pays off.”

VirginiaWhat do you write?

Barbara – I write contemporary romance fiction right now. My goal is to expand my writing efforts to include cozy mysteries and maybe even tackle a screenplay. I stay in touch with both through my membership in the RWA Kiss of Death and Scriptscene chapters. (I’m also a member of the Spacecoast Authors of Romance chapter.)

VirginiaTell us a little about your publisher and agent.

Barbara – Crimson Romance, an imprint of F+W Media, Adams Media, is a new epublisher focused on romance fiction. The first releases came out in early June, with several more added each Monday. They provide five categories: Contemporary Romance (my area), Historical Romance, Romantic Suspence, Paranormal Romance, and Spicy Romance. Their website can be found at

I don’t have an agent.

VirginiaI know that last time we talked you’d sold your first book. A little bird told me you might have some more news?

Barbara – I wish I could tell you, but since it’s not a done deal, I’ll have to get back to you on that.

VirginiaDo you outline?

Barbara – Sort of. Whoever invented the Table function on Word made writing so much easier for me to lay out my plot line and get a sense of sequencing. I start out with each entry being just the main purpose of the chapter and/or what I want to take place in that chapter. Although I still tend to overwrite the first draft, that method helps eliminate scenes that don’t progress the story. Later, I add columns for the POV character, scenes, time, time elapsed from the beginning. Eventually, I add page numbers.

VirginiaAbout how long does it take to finish a book?

Barbara – Much too long! Easily two years thus far. Now that I’m being published, I will need to step up the pace.

VirginiaWhat is your writing day like?

Barbara – I tend to write best from mid-morning to late afternoon and during the early evening. I try to write sequentially as much as possible for continuity’s sake, but that doesn’t preclude me from jumping around, especially when I’m doing revisions. I learned from this first publishing experience that in the future I have to do a much better job keeping notes as I go along for later reference. As I can work it in, I want to learn how to use either Scrivener or OneNote to do that.

VirginiaCan you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

Barbara – I wish I could recall whose note I saw on which loop that spread the word about the new epub, Crimson Romance, that was seeking submissions so that I could give them credit, but that information escapes me now. I went to the Adams Media website and read the Call for Submissions there.

Virginia When will your book come out?

Barbara – Monday, September 3

VirginiaWhat are you working on next?

Barbara – I’m currently working on the second book of a trilogy about a residential development here in Iowa. The H/H in the first book are two architects who have been assigned to come up with the design plan. This second book is about the developer and the general contractor. The final will involve the marketing and interior design end.

VirginiaDo you have some words of wisdom for the rest of us?

Barbara – Nothing very original – be persistent and believe in yourself. Keep writing and improving your craft. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Write about what appeals to you most; writing about what you know also helps, but you can always research that part.


Thanks Barbara, hope you have a great book launch. Now everyone let’s go check it out.



Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Author Interviews


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Getting to Know Phillip DePoy

I discovered Phillip DePoy when I read one of his Fever Devlin novels and loved it, The Witches Grave. I then read The Widow’s Curse and that started my quest to read the rest.  He has a great voice and his novels are filled with well-rounded quirky characters who are involved in mysteries with a twist.  He kept me guessing right up to the very end. Now let’s find out a little more about Mr. DePoy:

phillipWhere are you from? I was born in Rockford, Ill., but I don’t remember it. We moved to Atlanta when I was five because my father got a job playing French horn in the Atlanta Symphony. Despite the accidental placement of my birth, I seem to consider myself from the south. The south doesn’t know that. It seems to consider me an oddity: a leftwing Taoist who prefers jazz to NASCAR. Still, the south is as much in me as I am in the south. So.

How long have you been writing? I consider 1965 the beginning of my so-called writing career. My 10th grade English teacher, Marilyn May, liked a short story I’d written, told me I ought to be a writer, and submitted the story for a prize. I really loved Marilyn May, so I thought I should go along with her assessment. My first poem was published in 1973 (and I published poetry for many years after that) so that’s also a good, you know, marker.

What do you write?I’ve written two mystery series, one stand-alone thriller, which is my newest book (see below) and one very strange, unclassifiable book. The first mystery series, featuring detective Flap Tucker , is urban, arch, as much a parody of noir as an example of that genre. The second series, the Fever Devlin novels, concerns a folklorist in the Appalachian mountains and veers toward literary fiction, but let’s not mention that. The strange book came out in 1979 and is called MESSAGES FROM BEYOND. It is essentially messages from famous dead men who appear in alphabetical order to tell me what the afterlife is like for them. Each message is particular to the man, and it is preceded by my own biographical sketch of the spirit in question. I also write plays, and have done so for twenty years. I’m currently working on a commissioned play about spies.

Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.My agent is Maria Carvainis of the Maria Carvainis Agency in New York. The publisher of the Flap Tucker books was Dell, the current publisher (for the Fever Devilin novels and the new book) is St. Martin’s Press, also, of course, in New York.

How many books have you published so far? The newest book makes eleven for me.



What is your writing day like? I generally write in the morning. When I’m on a contract I write from a general outline, though I always depart from the outline, and I set an arbitrary number of pages I have to write before I can stop. Structure is good, if only to have a launching pad from which to depart.

Can you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?I signed my first agency agreement after sending out queries with samples to several New York agents that I’d found listed in the book Writer’s Market. It’s still a great source for writers, very clear about what to do, what to send, who’s looking for what. I think that’s a great place for any unagented writer to start. And in the current climate, alas, it’s almost impossible to get any notice from a publisher without an agent.

Do you have anything that just came out?My new book is called THE KING JAMES CONSPIRACY. It’s in all bookstores and on Amazon. The first reader to buy 5,000 copies gets a house in Tuscany. Sure, you’re saying, “for that kind of money I could buy my own house in Tuscany,” which is true. But then all you’d have as a big old empty house with nothing in it to read. The book is set in 1605 and concerns intrigue surrounding the creation of the King James bible. The main character is Brother Timon, a spy for the Catholic Church who is possessed of the remarkable ability to memorize thousands of pages of writing. His mission is to steal the bible without taking anything away from England except in his mind. The character is based on the real life Catholic Saint Giordano Bruno. The book has been compared to Umberto Eco’s NAME OF THE ROSE. In a real review. No kidding. I say that because it’s, I think, the highest praise I’ll ever receive, so I want to make the most of it before, you know, something happens. Like the reviewer realizes he’s gotten my book confused with something else he was reading.

the KingsJamesConaspiracy

What are you working on now?I’m in the middle of two novels, one about the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 and one, called THE MAN ON THE RADIO, about my grandmother who helped to raise me when she wasn’t in a mental institution—which explains, I think, a lot about my perceptions in general. I’m also about half-way through the first act of the play I’ve been commissioned to write.

Do you have some words of wisdom for us unpubs? I have no wisdom, but I do have personal experience, and it’s told me several things that have had a personal effect. I’ll say those things. The only reason to write—the only reason to do anything—is because you love the process. If you don’t love it, the other rewards will never be enough, and if you do love it, the universe very often opens doors for you. On a more practical plain: finish something. Write a whole novel or play poem or something. Show it to everyone. Listen to what they say without answering back. Take everything the say into consideration. Rewrite. Then get an agent. And don’t ever stop. If you just keep going, something will happen.

My website is

Hope you enjoyed our interview.  Are there any particular questions you like answered in future interviews?  Also do you have a favorite author you’d like to know more about?

Until next time,



Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Author Interviews


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All About Eve Savage

EveSavagenewsmallpicEve Savage is an author from a sister chapter of RWA in Omaha.  She is currently the chapter President and she’s a whole lot of fun.  She has offered to send a free copy of her latest book “Ice Cream, You Scream” by Kat Alexis, to one lucky winner. (It’s an erotic novella so you have to be 18 years old to participate. Void where prohibited. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. Contest ends Monday September 14th at midnight.) Just comment on my post that you would like to be included in this free drawing and the author will send it to the lucky winner in one of the following formats, adobe.pdf, mobipocket and microsoft e-reader.


Now let’s meet Eve:

Virginia: Where are you from?

Eve: I was born in Arizona, but grew up in England and San Antonia, Texas thanks to the USAF.  I’ve travelled the world and think there is nothing better than to experience new cultures.

Virginia: How long have you written?

Eve: I’ve written my entire life: mostly poetry and short stories.  I started writing novels in high school.  They featured my friends and our fantasy guys.

Virginia: What do you write?

Eve: I write everything from contemporary erotic romance to near-futuristic erotic thrillers.  I’ve also got a contemporary medical I’m working on as well as a new idea from an Agatha Christie-esque mystery. As well as a historical set in the 1860’s. Basically, I write whatever I fell like at any given time. I write by myself as Eve Savage and with my best friend as Kat Alexis.

Virginia: Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.

Eve: I’m currently published with Ellora’s Cave and The Wild Rose Press. EC is the foremost electronic and print publisher of erotic romance.  The Wild Rose Press is a wonderful company started by my friend Ronda Penders.  They are both every writer-friendly and I’m thrilled to write for both houses.  I don’t have an agent yet, but I have been looking and two agents have requested samples of my work.

Virginia: How many books have you published so far?

Eve: I have two books published under the name Eve Savage “Out of Control and Wicked in Walesand four written as Kat Alexis with my best friend Allie Standifer, “Candy-Coated Passion, Berry Bliss, Ice Cream, You Scream, and Set Me Up.

Virginia: What is your writing day like?

Eve: I wish I could say I get up, get the children to school then sit down for eight hours of work but it just doesn’t work that way in my world. I write when I can and where I can.

In the summer while I’m trying to entertain my children, I take a notebook to the pool or skate rink and write longhand then transcribe it into my laptop.

During the school year, I write some during the day, but mostly at night when the house is settle down.  I always write with music on. I know some people prefer silence but I can’t work that way.

Strangely enough I also get a ton of work done while my husband watches sporting events or Professional Wrestling on TV. For some reason, it focuses a part of my brain and I just crank out the work!

Virginia: Can you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

Eve: I know Ellora’s Cave because I read a lot of their work and quite a few of my friends are published with EC.  I really like how they present erotic romance.  I sold my first book to a different electronic publisher which went under.  Once my rights were returned to me, I reworte the plot, doubled the length and submitted to EC.  Luckily my editor, Helen Woodall, got hold of it loved it and bought it.

Virginia: Do you have anything that just came out?

Eve:  I have a Kat Alexis book releasing on September 1st from Ellora’s Cave.  It’s called Ice Cream, You Scream.  It’s the sequel to Candy-Coated Passion, but can be read alone.

Here’s the blurb: Lana Semenova is living life on her own terms. Too bad that life currently sucks. Enter one sexier-than-sin ice cream shop owner who’s hot enough to meld his products. Drizzle with enough steamy passion to keep the neighbors awake and add a sprinkling of raw sex on the floor to liven things up.  Lana may have found the perfect recipe to spice up her life. And if not? The sex is great and that’s all a woman needs on a hot summer night, right? Well that and ice cream.

Virginia: What are you working on now?

Eve: I’m currently knee deep in a contemporary romantic suspense set in Morocco.  I’m also at the beginnng stages of a historical mystery.  I need to work on more than one project at a time to keep my brain engaged.  Along with these two works, I’ve also got some shorter erotic stories I’m working on with Allie for ellora’s Cave.

Virginia: Do you have some words of wisdom for us unpubs?

Eve: You’re not unpubs -you’re pre-pubs.


Learn your craft and learn about the publishing business because it is a business.


I hear way too often, “I have this great idea…” but it’s not aon the page. If you don’t get it on paper how can you ever get it to an editor or agent?


Read the current market. See what’s popular, what’s being bought.  But, don’t be afraid to write outside the box and to go with your own heart and ideas. You never know, it might be the next big thing!!

Eve’s website is www.evesavage.bravehost.comand her blog is

You can also find her at where she has published articles about writing.

Thanks Eve for taking the time for this interview. 






Posted by on September 7, 2009 in Author Interviews


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Getting to Know – Lori Wilde

loriI would like to introduce someone who probably doesn’t need an introduction to anyone who reads romance.  I met Lori when she came to Des Moines to do her High Concept workshop.  Needless to say, it was very enlightening and entertaining.  Lori is both a talented writer as well as an accomplished speaker and if you get a chance to attend her High Concept workshop, do it.  You won’t regret it.  I hope you enjoy her interview.

Now let’s see what Lori has to say:

VirginiaWhere are you from?

 Lori – I’m a native Texan.

 Virginia – How long have you been writing?

 LoriHmm, I wrote my first short story when I was eight years old, but if you mean when did I get serious about writing?  That was 1990.

 Virginia – What do you write?

Lori – Sexy, humorous contemporary romances with a small town feel and a strong sense of community.

 Virginia – Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.

 Lori – My agent is Jenny Bent of the Bent agency.  I’m currently published with Harlequin and Avon Books.

 Virginia How many books have you published so far?

 Lori – My forty-third book just came up but I have four more in the pipeline waiting for release.

 Virginia – What is your writing day like?

 Lori – It varies.  If its deadline crunch time I might write twenty hours a day.  But in a normal writing day I try to get to the computer first thing in the morning and write for three or four hours.  I take a lunch break, exercise, check e-mail and then I teach my writing classes online.  I average 2 – 3000 words a day on non-crunch days.  The most I’ve ever written in one day is 10,000.

 Virginia Can you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

 Lori – I got my first publisher through a contest win. My agent found me after she read a book of mine that she loved.

 VirginiaDo you have anything that just came out?

 LoriI’m in an anthology with Stephanie Bond and Leslie Kelly called Sand, Sun, Seduction that’s on sale now.


VirginiaWhat are you working on now?

 Lori – I’m in between contracts at Harlequin and Avon, so I’m working on a brand new project.  It’s a romantic suspense.



Sweethearts Knitting Club – Coming soon! 

VirginiaDo you have some words of wisdom for us unpubs?

 Lori – Read, read, read.  Write, write, write.  Never, ever give up.

 My website is  I blog monthly at http://deadlinehellions.

Thanks for taking the time for this interview and we will look for your new releases.  Now is the time for my readers to let me know who they’d like me to interview.  I have several in the pipeline and I am trying to present one a week, so let me know who you’d like to learn more about.

Until next time,




Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Author Interviews


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